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First Read's Morning Clips: It's Election Day in Alabama

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: GOP Senate Candidate Judge Roy Moore Holds Rally On Eve Of Election
Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore arrives to speak during a campaign event at Jordan's Activity Barn on December 11, 2017 in Midland City, Alabama.Joe Raedle / Getty Images

OFF TO THE RACES: It’s Election Day in Alabama

AL-SEN: Jonathan Allen, in Midland City, Alabama: “On the eve of this state's special Senate election, Republican Roy Moore returned from a six-day campaign hiatus on Monday to attack the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. Speaking in a barn-style event center here in "The Wiregrass," the rural and heavily conservative southern tier of the state, Moore portrayed the multiple women as attention-seekers who, he said, "had not come forward" for 40 years but "waited until 30 days before this general election to come forward." And he asked voters to judge his record against their claims. "If you don't believe in my character," he said, "don't vote for me."

Jane Timm sums up where the candidates stand on the issues.

“A judge directed Alabama election officials Monday afternoon to preserve all digital ballot images in Tuesday's hotly contested U.S. Senate special election,” writes “An order granting a preliminary injunction was filed at 1:36 p.m. Monday - less than 24 hours before voting is to begin. The order came in response to a lawsuit filed Thursday on behalf of four Alabama voters who argued that the state is required to maintain the images under state and federal law.”

And there’s this moment from last night: “The wife of embattled Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore fought back against accusations that her husband doesn’t support blacks or Jews, saying at one point that one of their attorneys “is a Jew.” Speaking at a campaign rally Monday night in Midland City, Alabama, Kayla Moore pointed out that her husband appointed the first black marshal to the state Supreme Court. She said they also have many friends who are black.”

POLITICO digs up the forces behind a big super PACs backing Jones: “Highway 31, which dropped more than $4.1 million in support of Jones and against Roy Moore ahead of Tuesday's Senate special election, is a joint project of two of the largest national Democratic super PACs — Senate Majority PAC and Priorities USA Action — along with a group of Alabama Democrats, multiple senior officials familiar with the arrangement told POLITICO.”

OH-SEN: “Sen. Sherrod Brown didn't sneak a favor for private jet owners into the Senate tax bill,” writes “But Josh Mandel keeps saying otherwise. The claim has been debunked, but Mandel, Ohio's state treasurer – who has ambitions to oust Brown from his job next November – won't relent.”

TX-27: The New York Times has more details on allegations against Blake Farenthold.

VA-SEN: Well, this one will be interesting. The Washington Post: “In announcing he will seek the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate from Virginia, outspoken preacher E.W. Jackson said Monday that his chief Republican rival, Corey Stewart, is a tax-and-spend politician who doesn’t understand the threat the country faces from Sharia law and radical Islam.”

TRUMP AGENDA: Playing defense against Mueller

The Washington Post reports on how Trump’s team is trying to protect him from the Mueller probe.

In Axios: “President Trump's legal team believes Attorney General Jeff Session's Justice Department and the FBI — more than special counsel Robert Mueller himself — are to blame for what they see as a witch hunt. The result: They want an additional special counsel named to investigate the investigators.”

“The Justice Department is refusing to reveal details of the process that led up to former FBI Director Robert Mueller being granted an ethics waiver to serve as special counsel investigating the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election,” POLITICO reports.

The Washington Post, on how the Trump administration is responding to renewed allegations of sexual misconduct by the president: “The White House dismissed the allegations in a morning statement and an afternoon news conference, saying the president has previously denied any improprieties and arguing that the questions were already litigated as part of his ascension to the presidency. Several White House officials also said the West Wing was not particularly panicked, in part because none of the accusations were new. But some Trump aides, advisers and outside confidants are privately grappling with how to navigate the charged national environment over sexual misconduct, which may not pass anytime soon, and an increasingly aggressive Democratic Party. Some outside Republicans close to the president said they are increasingly uneasy about his ability to withstand a revived spotlight on his behavior toward women amid the dramatic attitude shift happening nationwide in response to accusations of sexual misconduct against men from Hollywood to Capitol Hill. A number of Trump associates are also wary of the potential political costs if the president goes on a sustained attack against his accusers.”

Will Trump visit the U.K.? And what would a visit mean for the strained “special relationship”?

Senate Republicans are divided over whether to look at Medicare cuts next year.

“Congressional Republicans begin work on Tuesday on an extensive rewrite of the law that governs the nation’s system of higher education, seeking to dismantle landmark Obama administration regulations designed to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges and to repay the loans of those who earned worthless degrees from scam universities,” writes the New York Times.

The Wall Street Journal: “The Trump administration’s planned overhaul of U.S. corporate tax law came under attack Monday from finance ministers of Europe’s five largest economies, voicing the growing anxiety among foreign executives and officials that the proposals would give American firms unfair tax advantages.”

And in POLITICO: “Top congressional Republicans, racing to hammer out a final tax agreement by the end of the week, have yet to make any breakthroughs on a range of key issues. House and Senate negotiators bounced proposals back and forth over the weekend, but said Monday that they still had to find compromises on where to set the corporate tax rate, how to treat millions of businesses that aren’t set up as corporations and how much of a deduction to allow for state and local taxes.”